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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Symphonies of success: Rising women in the music industry

The trailblazing women you won’t want to skip tuning in to
Mia Huss
Black Indigenous and People of Color are dominating the music industry in all genres, from R&B, pop, and indie music. Learn about these leading BIPOC women who have set the tone for the future of the music industry (Graphic created in Canva by Mia Huss).

In a crescendo of achievement, Black, Indigenous and People of Color in the music industry are orchestrating success, breaking barriers and harmonizing their way to the top.

From indie artists to rap music, these powerful BIPOC women, like The Marías, Mitski, Mxmtoon, T H R O N E and Victoria Monét, display ethereal vocals and poetic lyricism that will forever leave a mark on the music industry.

The Marías

María Zardoya is the lead singer of the Los Angeles-based alternative indie band The Marías, which is named after Zardoya who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Atlanta, Georgia.

Zardoya is inspired by a wide array of diverse women in music who have come before her, including Selena Quintanilla, Norah Jones and Nina Simone. Elements of these artists can be seen in her work.

Being the only woman in the band, Zardoya creates music that represents Latinas, the duality of her cultures and the importance of bilingual music.

Most of the band’s songs are bilingual like some of their top hits “Cariño” and “Mañana.” To get a taste of the band’s style, listen to their first studio album “Cinema” and their cover of a popular Britney Spears hit “…baby one more time.” Their upcoming album titled “Submarine” is set to release on May 31.


Illuminating the room with lyrics in the Mvskoke language, Native American rapper YVHIKV is empowering female Native musicians across the world with her rap duo T H R O N E.

YVHIKV is half of the duo alongside her boyfriend Hayatheus, together they have released four albums within the past few years, including “TOXIC JUNGLE” and “STRANGE MEAT.”

YVHIKV is a Mvskoke rapper who gained fame through TikTok. In an interview with Teen Vogue, YVHIKV said that if it weren’t for the Indigenous community lifting her up on TikTok, the duo wouldn’t be where they are today.

To hear songs from the duo that highlight YVHIKV’s melodic vocals, listen to “V for Vanity,” and to hear YVHIKV sing in the Mvskoke language, listen to “Lionfish.”

YVHIKV is inspired by contemporary artists like Erykah Badu and Amy Winehouse and pairs that with a modern hip-hop sound. You won’t want to miss the encapsulating vocals from VYHIKV in this rising hip-hop duo.

RELATED: STINGER SOUND SESSIONS: Grooblen stokes musical curiosities and lyrical intrigue

Victoria Monét

Raised in Sacramento, Victoria Monét is no stranger to the limelight, and she is making waves in the music industry right now after winning Best New Artist at the Grammys this year.

Monét flew under the radar as an R&B artist in 2020 with her album “JAGUAR,” and it wasn’t until 2023, when she rose to fame with her album “JAGUAR II” and hit single “On My Mama” that she gained the popularity she deserved.

Even if you haven’t heard of her, you may recognize some of the songs she’s written for other artists, including Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings”, “Thank U, Next” and “MONOPOLY.”

From songwriting to her own albums, Monét is a rising star to watch in the music industry. To hear some of her best work, listen to “We Might Be Falling in Love (Interlude),” “Smoke” and “Alright.”


Known for her upbeat bedroom pop music accompanied by her ukulele, Mxmtoon has paved the way for queer Asian American musicians who fail to see themselves represented in the music industry.

Maia, also known as Mxmtoon, has never publicly shared about her private life and tends to stay out of the spotlight.

Mxmtoon connects with her audience by creating songs that relate to heartache and loneliness, such as “prom dress” and “seasonal depression”, which are both featured on her 2019 album “the masquerade.”

Mxmtoon has always embraced her bisexuality through her music and shares her experience with fans through TikTok and other social media platforms about the rollercoaster of adulthood.

Mxmtoon’s 2018 album “plum blossom” was a compilation of songs she wrote when she was 17 years old, but she recently re-released “plum blossom (revisited)” in 2023, as an ode to her younger self.

To hear more from Mxmtoon about relatable topics like social awkwardness, love, heartache, growing pains and nostalgia, tune into her “rising” album from 2022, with notable songs like “coming of age”, “sad disco” and “mona lisa.”


Japanese American musician Mitsuki Laycock, also known as Mitski, is essential for a sad girl starter pack, especially with her latest album “The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We,” which displays her illuminating vocals and lyricism.

Mitski rose to fame in 2014, with her album “Bury Me At Makeout Creek” with emotional singles “First Love/Late Spring” and “Francis Forever” which highlight love, loss and heartache.

The 2018 album “Be The Cowboy” continued the emotional lyricism that fans expect from Mitski. The album dives into themes of loneliness and what it means to exist when life doesn’t feel real.

Not only has Mitski shared the emotionally draining feelings many fans have experienced, but her identity and platform have been relatable for Asian Americans who feel lost between mixing their cultures and identities.

To get a taste of why sad girls love Mitski’s music so much, listen to “Washing Machine Heart”, “Me and My Husband” and “I Don’t Like My Mind.”

Tune in to the playlist below if any of these BIPOC women artists caught your eye, so turn up the volume, dance and sing along.

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Mia Huss
Mia Huss, A&E Staffer
(she/her) Mia is a graduating senior majoring in political science and journalism. She has worked as a freelance journalist covering local government in her hometown. This is her first semester with The State Hornet.
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